Bobby “Prince” Billy

December 19, 2006

The single for the very awesome "Lay & Love" just arrived from the latest Bonnie "Prince" Billy album The Letting Go. Although we have done some really ridiculous stuff in regards to Will Oldham, we managed to never get so ridiculous as to call him "the new Dylan" - but the two B-sides here are Dylan covers, and they are welcome after Oldham's largely not-awesome covers record with Tortoise ("Thunder Road" being a huge exception).

One is "Señor" with Oldham alone, the other is "Going To Acapulco" with dixieland-ish band (trombone, banjo, sax, tuba, clarinet, trumpet, etc) present. It's languorous and easy going and fun and we dig it because rather than being defined by the mood it strikes like a lot of Oldham music, it's defined by dude's vocal performance - arching and kind of funny. "Señor," however, isn't funny at all. It might be easy going in the sense that it's calm and just Oldham and a guitar, but Dylan's lyrics are incredibly fraught with tension - like somebody's gonna bust through the door at any moment, if not this moment than definitely the next. We'd be bullshitting you if we said we're ready with a good interpretation of the lyrics, but for starters there's the subtitle "(Tales of Yankee Power)" which Oldham has declined to include.

We also wonder if our other hero/enemy Stephin Merritt got the name for his band from the "Señor" lyric that goes "Well the last thing I remember before I stripped and kneeled/ Was that trainload of fools bogged down in a magnetic field...." But then we realized that we were thinking too hard (not hard enough?) and they probably both took that shit from a likkle dude called Einstein.

Posted: December 19, 2006
Bobby “Prince” Billy